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Former Indian hockey player Sandeep Michael dies at 33

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Former India hockey player Sandeep Michael breathed his last on Friday, November 23 in Bengaluru due to a neurological disorder. He was just 33 years old.

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Karnataka State Hockey Association secretary K Krishna Murthy said, “Sandeep passed away this afternoon in a private hospital. He was battling a brain problem and was admitted on November 18. He slipped into a coma and could not be revived.”

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Michael’s career in the Indian jersey reached an all-time high in the year 2003 when he was part of the Junior Asia Cup squad. He scored crucial goals in fixtures against Pakistan and Korea in the same competition where he was eventually adjudged the most promising talent.

“He had a knack of scoring goals from any position and angle. This skill endeared him to the coaches and he was also loved by fans,” Murthy added.

Michael belonged to s family of sportspeople where his father was a state-level volleyball player and his mother, a track-and-field athlete who also had the experience of playing Kho-Kho at the state level.

Vineet, his younger brother also was a hockey player who represented his state-Karnataka in the sub-junior nationals in 2002.

Michael was part of the Indian senior team in Australia in a tournament in the year 2003 where he came in place of the great Dhanraj Pillay.

Recalls Murthy, “In this tournament, he scored two goals after he came in as a substitute for Dhanraj Pillay. Pillay was rested by coach Rajinder Singh to give Sandeep international exposure.

“I still remember Pillay praising Sandeep for the exquisite goal by saying it was a beauty of a goal that was well executed,” he added.

Michael made his debut for India in the U-18 Asia Cup in Ipoh. The forward also was part of the developmental teams of the country which bagged the gold and bronze medals at the Akbar-El-Yok cup in the years 2002 and 2003 respectively.

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